A chemo-enzymatic oxidation cascade to activate C–H bonds with in situ generated H2O2
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A greener method for selectively activating C–H bonds to make value-added chemicals could stem from a new chemo-enzymatic oxidation reaction.
Environmentally friendly enzymes called unspecific peroxygenases (UPOs) can catalyse a wide range of potentially commercially valuable oxidation reactions. They use hydrogen peroxide as an oxygen source for these transformations, and the only by-product is water. However, UPOs are quickly deactivated if the hydrogen peroxide concentration climbs too high, which creates challenges for scaling up.
Now, a team that included University of Cape Town researchers has developed catalytic gold–platinum nanoparticles that convert hydrogen and oxygen into a steady stream of hydrogen peroxide. The nanoparticles could be combined with UPOs in a single pot, creating a scalable chemo-enzymatic reaction system for installing hydroxyl groups in a wide range of organic starting materials.
- Nature Communications 10, 4178 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12120-w